Chevrolet Traverse in Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

The Chevrolet Traverse is an excellent mid-sized SUV with plenty of storage space, the latest technology and fantastic gas mileage.

It’s the perfect car for the solo adventurer or medium sized families.

The big question though, is whether it is ‘just as good in wintertime?’ 

We answer that question in this article:

Here is the short answer about whether the Chevrolet Traverse is good for snow and winter driving:

The Chevrolet Traverse is great in the winter and a good all-round vehicle for driving in snow. The weight and ground clearance of the vehicle helps it to press through snow very effectively, whilst the AWD system and snow mode helps the car to remain under control when driving in slippery conditions.

Is a Chevrolet Traverse Good in the Snow?

Firstly, the Chevy Traverse is an extremely large, almost minivan type model.

This naturally makes it incredibly heavy, weighing in at nearly 2.5 tons. In the snow, this weight is actually an advantage though.

The weight of the vehicle helps to push the tires down through the snow into the grippier tarmac. The Traverse also features a ‘snow mode’ that helps the vehicle to limit the driven wheels from spinning too much in slippery conditions.

The Chevrolet Traverse is also available in an all-wheel drive model which is excellent in snowy conditions.

The ground clearance of the Traverse is not as good as you might expect from an SUV, however it is certainly not limited when it comes to driving in wintertime. 

A large amount of torque and power from the 3.6 liter V6 engine will be more than enough to power the Traverse through thicker snow though, so the low ground clearance is not such a big issue.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

The Chevrolet Traverse seems like it would struggle when driving through snow because of its sheer size and weight.

However, we have carefully studied all of the features offered on the Traverse which make it perfect for driving in snow:

AWD System

The all-wheel drive system is great for driving in snow.

Unfortunately, it is only available in some of the more expensive models.

All-wheel drive systems help the vehicle in snowy conditions by sending power to all four of the wheels.

This helps the wheels to distribute the workload between four as opposed to only two, giving the vehicle more grip and traction.

This feature makes the car more powerful and more stable in snowy conditions.

Snow Mode

Snow Mode is a special feature on the Chevrolet Traverse which limits the amount of power sent to the driven wheels when activated.

This feature does not turn the vehicle into an AWD, but it has a similar effect to traction control. 

Snow mode helps to better control the amount of torque that is sent to the wheels.

This stops the wheels from spinning under acceleration, which is a common occurrence in snowy and slippery conditions.

Forward Collision Alert

This feature is incredibly useful in snow conditions. It detects if you are following the car in front of you too closely and are at risk of a potential collision on the front end of your car.

For example, the feature will send out a warning if the car in front suddenly brakes and the driver has not begun slowing down yet.

The same feature also has a tailgating warning. This is useful in wintertime as well.

The warning will activate if the driver is following the car in front too closely.

In snowy conditions, the following distances need to be greatly increased, and this feature can help to enforce those following distances.

You may also be interested in our article: how long do Chevrolet Trailblazer last?

Automatic Emergency Braking

This feature works in conjunction with the previously mentioned forward collision alert when traveling under 50 MPH.

If the Traverse senses danger ahead of a potential front-end collision it will automatically apply the brakes in order to avoid the collision or reduce the severity of the impact. 

In addition, this feature will also activate when the front-end camera picks up a danger ahead.

Hard braking will automatically be applied, or the system will assist the driver by enhancing the driver’s hard braking.

Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning

This feature is effective in snow conditions as it can help the driver to identify if they are leaving their lane or their car is drifting out of its lane caused by snow or ice.

The feature gives a gentle turn of the wheel if the driver unintentionally or accidentally begins to leave their lane.

An alarm can also be given by the lane departure system as a warning when the car begins to drift out of lane unintentionally.

These will be audio and visual cues that signify to the driver that they are leaving their lane.

Does a Chevrolet Traverse Have a Snow Mode?

The Chevrolet Traverse does have a snow mode feature.

The snow mode feature limits the amount of torque that is sent from the engine to the wheels.

This limits wheel spin on snowy and icy conditions and allows the wheels to have more grip and traction.

Please also read our article: how long do Chevrolet Traverse last

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on a Chevrolet Traverse?

Snow gear is available for the Chevrolet Traverse.

It is a popular car when it comes to traveling, and as such needs to be equipped for snow.

There are various pieces of equipment you can attach to the Traverse to increase its traction and stability on snow and ice.

Some of the snow gear you can install:

  • Snow tires
  • Snow chains
  • Ice studs
  • Snow socks
  • Snow Plow

How Much Snow Can a Chevrolet Traverse Handle?

The Chevrolet Traverse has a ground clearance of 8 inches.

This ground clearance will help the car to handle a lot of snow.

However, the Traverse is definitely equipped to handle even more than that as it is packed full of features that help it in snowy conditions.

How Does the Chevrolet Traverse Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

Having the latest technology as part of the package on the Traverse makes it an excellent performer in low winter temperatures.

The Traverse is very well equipped to take on the colder conditions.

Can a Chevrolet Traverse Drive on Ice?

The Traverse can effectively drive on ice at slow speeds.

Driving on ice is an easy task for the Traverse with studded tires giving the wheels more to grip onto, and snow mode limiting the wheels from spinning.

The weight of the car might give it a slight disadvantage in slippery conditions. The heavier vehicle can be bulkier and more difficult to maneuver when it comes to driving on ice.

Does the Chevrolet Traverse Have 4WD?

The Traverse is available in front wheel drive and four-wheel drive options. Front wheel drive comes as standard, and the all-wheel drive is an optional extra.

What About Older Chevrolet Traverse Models and Winter Driving?

Older Traverse models are just as great with winter driving and they come with many of the technologies mentioned previously – however, the Traverse models from 2015 onward feature the snow mode which is incredibly effective for winter driving.

All previous models can be fitted with snow and studded tires. They also feature all-wheel drive systems which are great for driving in snow.

You may also be interested in our article: Chevrolet Trax in snow and winter driving

Does the Chevrolet Traverse Need Snow Tires?

The Chevrolet Traverse does not necessarily need snow tires. However, snow tires are extremely effective in assisting with winter driving.

Many drivers say that a front wheel drive model with snow tires is more effective than an all-wheel drive model with standard tires.

Can You Mount a Snow Plow on a Chevrolet Traverse?

The Traverse can have a snow plow mounted on the front.

Snow and ice will be gone in no time when you fit the Chevrolet Traverse snow plow to the front.

The weight, power and torque of the vehicle makes it extremely effective at plowing.

Related: 13 Best & Worst Chevrolet Traverse Years (With Facts & Stats)



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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